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Family of MH17 victims provide DNA samples

MH17 Heirs and family members of Malaysian victims in the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH17 tragedy gave their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples to the authorities yesterday.

The Health Ministry and Royal Malaysia Police took 29 DNA samples at the Marriot Hotel Putrajaya.

Criminal Investigations Department deputy director (Forensic/DNA) SAC T Narenasagaran said 16 task groups were involved in the process of obtaining baccal swaps from the family members.

He said DNA sampling involving heirs from other states who could not make it to Putrajaya would be managed by the ministry and police in their respective state.

"We expect to complete the DNA sampling latest by Thursday so the samples can be sent immediately to Amsterdam, Netherlands," he told reporters after the DNA sampling process, yesterday.

Meanwhile, the sister of victim Noor Rahimah Mohd Noor, who only wants to be known as Akma, 55, said the ministry had only taken DNA samples from her.

"They took a sample from my cheek and blood, which they say is sufficient. Besides, I am the only family member here," she said.

Akma and her family extended their thanks to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for the result of negotiations which allowed the bodies to be brought back.

Meanwhile, the cousin of Ariza Ghazalee, Zulrusdi Mohamad, 46, said DNA sampling will be done on Ariza's mother, Jamilah Noriah Abang Anuar, 72, at her home in Kuching tomorrow.

He was also told that the ministry's staff will take samples from the siblings of Ariza's husband, Tambi Jiee, in Goebilt, Kuching today.

The nephew of passenger Puan Seri Siti Amirah Prawira Kesuma, Shahadat Edid Bey, 56, said he will send a sample of hair from his aunt's comb to the Forensics Department.

Shahadat, who is in Kuala Lumpur, said a blood test will be taken from Siti Amirah's own child who is now in the Netherlands.

During a news conference at the Seri Perdana in Putrajaya late Monday night, Najib said he had spoken with separatist leader Alexander Borodai, who controls the area of the tragedy and reached an agreement regarding the management of victims' bodies, the black boxes and for independent international investigators to access the crash site.

Among the agreement was regarding the 282 bodies which are now in Torez and will be relocated to Kharkiv by train, before being flown to Amsterdam on a Dutch C130 Hercules aircraft. Upon completing the forensics work, the bodies of Malaysian citizens will be sent home.

Flight MH17, which carried 298 passengers and crew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in east Ukraine near the Russian border on Thursday. A total of 44 people onboard were Malaysians.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was believed to have been shot down.

- Bernama

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